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Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait attacked in Bengaluru

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JK News Live

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, who was in the city to address a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Monday, was attacked by a group of three men out of the blue during the event.

As he was seated on the dias and another farmer leader was addressing the media, a man rushed to the stage and attacked Mr. Tikait with a television mic. Before Mr. Tikait recovered from it, another man threw black ink on him. One of the attackers shouted slogans saying, “Modi, Modi”.

Other farmers in the hall soon rushed to catch the culprits. As they tried to flee, some threw chairs at them and they were soon caught and handed over to the police.

Mr. Tikait was in the city to address allegations allegedly made by another farmer leader – Kodihalli Chandrashekhar – in a sting operation recently aired by a Kannada news channel. Mr. Chandrashekhar had allegedly claimed Mr. Tikait had been trying to broker an end to the 13-month-long farmers’ movement in New Delhi by taking money and colluding with the union government.

The police have detained three persons and taken them to High Grounds police station for inquiry.

“ It is a conspiracy by the BJP and failure on part of the government to provide security cover despite requests being made a day before the programme,” one of the organisers alleged.

Mr. Tikait, speaking to media persons, condemned the physical attack on him at the press conference earlier in the day.

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“I never expected a physical assault in Karnataka. A media channel that had done the sting operation was asking provocative questions with an aim to increase their TRP. Then suddenly a person walked up to the stage and hit me with a mic. Luckily I used my hand to block the blows, failing which I would have suffered a head injury. My hands are swollen,” he said, adding the incident was a failure of the State government. “There were intelligence people in the room. How did this happen? This was a well pre planned attack. I demand the police conduct a fair probe into the incident and bring to book all those behind the incident,” he said.

Another farmer leader Yuddhaveer Singh, who was also present at the press conference, said given that the attackers carried a poster of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and shouted “Modi Modi”, it was up to the ruling dispensation to conduct a fair probe.

State farmer leader Chukki Nanjundaswamy has announced a black flag protest across the state on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tikait denied all allegations made against him by Mr. Chandrashekhar. “The allegations are baseless and without any evidence. Farmer’s movement is a historic movement that forced the Union Government to roll back the three farm laws. Yes, we were negotiating with the government, but not to broker end to protest,” he said.

When quizzed whether he suspected the involvement of Mr. Chandrashekhar, he said the police must probe everyone, Mr. Chandrashekhar, the news channel or any others.

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